Thursday, October 16, 2014

Middle Earth Mediocrity: The 2014 Thorin Oakenshield Ornament Underwhelms!

The Good: Good balance, Decent sculpt, Affordable
The Bad: Severe coloring issues, Animated look
The Basics: The 2014 "Thorin Oakenshield" ornament continues Hallmark’s line of somewhat disappointing ornaments from Middle Earth.

For as much as I love Hallmark ornaments and Peter Jackson’s interpretations of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth books, Hallmark has yet to commit to creating truly amazing ornaments from The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit. Focusing only on the characters so far, Hallmark’s The Hobbit ornaments are unfortunately underdetailed and while the sculpts can be good, they have yet to get skin tones right on their Middle Earth character ornaments. Thorin Oakenshield is this year’s The Hobbit ornament and he certainly suffers from the coloring defect that Hallmark has had for their Middle Earth line.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of the ornament, Thorin Oakenshield features the dwarf leader from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (reviewed here!) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (reviewed here!). This is Thorin Oakenshield, ready to slice down orcs and ogres with his sword. He is in a running pose and the ornament actually looks quite a bit like Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin Oakenshield.


The "Thorin Oakenshield" ornament recreates Thorin Oakenshield in his armor and traveling coat with his hands raised to hold his sword in a two-handed grasp. The ornament, released in 2014, is a pretty well-detailed sculpt of Thorin Oakenshield, as portrayed by Richard Armitage. This version of Thorin Oakenshield looks unfortunately animated, though most of the sculpt is adequate when compared to the live-action reference.

Hallmark only seemed to make an effort on the molding with his belt buckle and the armor that is visible on Thorin Oakenshield’s shoulders. The fine work on the boots and hair is not indicative of the entire ornament. The back of the coat and the travel armor is less deep and detailed than the rest of the ornament. The facial sculpt, though, does look like Richard Armitage. Measuring four and one-quarter inches tall, three and a half inches wide and two and one-half inches deep, the "Thorin Oakenshield" ornament is one of the larger Hallmark character ornaments this year and it is not at all in proportion to the prior Middle Earth ornaments that were released in prior years! At $17.95, the Thorin Oakenshield ornament is, admittedly, one of the more affordable genre ornaments this season, though for the quality of the ornament makes it seem pricy.

The Hallmark "Thorin Oakenshield" ornament is made of a durable plastic and sculpted to look generally like Richard Armitage. The coloring for the skin is monotonal, which makes the skin look cartoonish as opposed to realistic. The hair on Thorin Oakenshield’s head is straight black with a little white stripe. As well, the clean costume is colored in single colors without any realistic depth and shading. The silvery color of the belt and armor is realistic and pretty good.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, "Thorin Oakenshield" could have a sound effect, but it does not. Instead, this is a less-expensive option that is just the character.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Thorin Oakenshield" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate movie nostalgia Christmas Tree, the "Thorin Oakenshield" ornament is very much an esoteric and extravagant ornament. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top of Thorin Oakenshield's head. This is fairly obvious and necessary for the ornament. Hanging there, the ornament has good balance.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (click here for that review!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Thorin Oakenshield" is one of only a few Middle Earth ornaments on the market and it is the first one truly unique to The Hobbit. Between the mediocre quality and the short half-life of Middle Earth-related merchandise, investors might want to wait until this is half price before picking up the ornament!


Fans of the Middle Earth franchise, Richard Armitage, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to all be disappointed by the execution of the Thorin Oakenshield ornament, though it is not at all the worst Hallmark rendition of a character from The Hobbit!

For other Hallmark Middle Earth and fantasy-related ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2013 Bilbo Baggins The Hobbit ornament
2012 Gandalf The Gray The Lord Of The Rings ornament
2013 The Sorting Hat Harry Potter ornament
2013 Pirates Of The Caribbean


For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment